Society Meeting 08/01/2022

A tad delayed, but here’s a photo round up of our first meeting of 2022. In addition to our AGM, we had a SAGA battle day, involving 8 players, a FOG Renaissance ECW game, a Lords of the Rings Game and some Spy-Fi action.

First up a SAGA-fest with Scots, Bretons, Welsh, Vikings and Anglo-Danes. In addition to some experienced SAGA players we had a couple of prospective members join in for their first games.

Andy’s Anglo Danish face off against Stephen’s Welsh
James’ Vikings vs Jeremey’s Anglo Danes
Tony’s Bretons vs John’s Scots
James’ Vikings vs Jeremey’s Anglo Danes
James’ Vikings vs Jeremey’s Anglo Danes
Close up of John’s Scots
Tony’s Bretons

Moving on the the English Civil War, 15mm figures using Field of Gory rules.

ECW Armies line up
Cuirassiers charge
Colonel John Lamplugh’s Regiment of Foot
Royalist Regiments

Moving from history to fiction, Marcus had a try out of his underwater Spy-Fi rules.

Marcus’ seascape
Divers and mini-sub
More divers hiding behind a shoal of fish
The two sides fight over the lost missile.

And finally to Fantasy, a Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game.

The scene is set.
Dwarves advance across the bridge
Uruk Hai advance with a Troll in support
Dwarf Heavy Metal
Dwarves holding the Bridge against the Uruk Hai

Lights! Camera! Action! Take 1.

Shortly before Christmas Stephen issued a challenge, throughout the rest of December post pictures on our members groups.io page of famous scenes from military history, or myth, or fiction. Fantasy or sci fi, film or whatever, but using models from our collections.

Stephen kicked off the challenge with a picture of Grendel and Beowulf

Grendel and Beowulf

Moving from myth to history, Andy contributed Gaius Julius Caesar leading Legio XIII Gemina across the river Rubicon in January 49BC precipitating (another) Roman Civil War.

Alea iacta est

And going back to fiction, Andy staged the battle between Gandalf and the Balrog in the Mines of Moria:

Gandalf and the Balrog at the Bridge of Khazad-dûm.

Marcus provided a scene from Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

“Your dead sleep quietly, at least, Captain, out of reach of sharks” “Yes, sir, of sharks and men.”
― Jules Verne, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

Stephen had a play with his camera to create a sepia print of Pickett’s Charge.

Picket’s Charge

Mark delved into comic-lore to give us a scene from the comic 2000AD, Judge Death vs Judge Dredd.

Judge Death Lives! 2000ad progs 224-228, “you cannot kill what doesss not live”.

Marcus offers a scene from an Iron Hand mission in Vietnam.

Two MiG 21 Én Bạcs pursue a pair of F105 Thunderchiefs on an Iron Hand mission. A SAM-6 site is the F105’s target.

Bingo!

We promised something new to replace the To-do lists, which have been a source of inspiration and entertainment for quite a few years, but have probably reached a natural end point.

So instead we have … Hobby Bingo. The idea isn’t new, it’s been shamelessly adapted it from the pages of White Dwarf. Their versions are very much tailored towards Games Workshop rulesets, so the tasks have been modified to make them as generic as possible and not tied to particular scales or periods, that way everyone can take part. It’s more flexible than the old To-do lists because you don’t need to commit to anything in advance – if you happen to paint something on a whim one weekend, or start a new army halfway through the year, it all counts.

Everyone gets a 5×4 Bingo Card (below), and on each square of the card is a task – some are straightforward ones like painting a unit of infantry or cavalry, or a piece of terrain. Some are a bit more involved, like converting or scratchbuilding a model. Others require you to play a game, write a blog post or take a photo or two.

We won’t be all that strict about things, it’s only meant to be a bit of fun. The definition of a ‘unit’ would depend on the scale of the figures – maybe 6-10 28mm figures, a platoon of 15mm figures or a company of 6mm figures (or vehicles). It should constitute a complete unit for whichever sets of rules they’re intended. An ‘army’ is a complete force for a game of your choice, but it should be a proper army, not just a skirmish force – again, this might be scale dependent (a 15mm Hammer’s Slammers detachment might be an army, but their 6mm equivalent would only be a unit).

Cavalry could be horse mounted (or some other beast – camels, elephants or giant lizards would all qualify), or armoured vehicles – after all, many regiments of horse converted to tank or armoured car units. Likewise, artillery could be towed guns, self-propelled howitzers, ballistae, catapults or even rocket batteries mounted on landing craft! Anything that vaguely fits the bill will qualify – in the event of disputes, you’ll be judged by a jury of your peers (ie we’ll see what the consensus is on the email list).

The rules, such as they are, can be summarised as follows…

– entries should be submitted on WIP Wednesdays, with proof – pictures or it didn’t happen. The ‘read a book’ task would include your brief book report and preferably a photo of the book cover (we’ll work out something for those of us that use Kindles…).
– each entry can only be used for one square – the exception is complete armies which can be made up of previously finished units (although they should contain at least one new unit that hasn’t been used for another square).
– each square is worth 10 points, each complete line 20 points, so a complete card is worth 380 points. If you finish all 20 squares, you can start a second card if you want to. If someone gets as far as a third card we’ll be mightily impressed!

So that’s it – once again, to your brushes, gents!

Click on the image for a larger version

Mae’n Rhyfel!

Owain, Lord of Bangor, has unfurled his warbanner – the famous Banner of the White Wolves.

Rumour has it that those two English rogues, Andraes Willhelmson and Erik Uhtredson, are taking up arms to go raiding again.

Let it be known that Owain of Bangor will take up his war spear, his shield, and his warbanner, and intends on teaching these two scoundrels another lesson.

The anger of the Red Dragon is not to be trifled with!

Signs o’ the Times (2)

Tony F gives a further look through his garage archive.

Lager Louts in the 25th Century
This game was a sci-fi bar-room brawl based on a board game (we’re trying to find out what that was – we’re hoping someone still has it) that we’d played at the club quite a bit, especially at Christmas meetings as it was great fun. I built a bar (named The Blazing Shuttle) on a 3×2 board complete with flashing and strobing LED lighting, Phil made some furniture from plasticard and Brian provided the denizens of the bar in the shape of some toy figures – we’re not sure what they were. We even had an audio track – the Star Wars Cantina theme. Nowadays we’d probably try concealing a small bluetooth speaker in the scenery, but this was 1989, so the technology was simply a portable cassette player under the table. It began to get a little wearing by the end of the day…

Given the amount of work we put in, it’s surprising that it only had a single outing – Salute 1989. Sadly there are no photos of the day – it was pre- digital cameras, let alone smartphones. We can’t even recreate any photos now, since the bar ended up in the tip when I moved house 🙁 But it was quite a memorable event. It started with one club member changing from his jeans and T-shirt into a full dinner suit since he had designated himself as the bouncer – no dressing room was provided, so he simply dropped his trousers where he stood! Fortunately we were in one of the upstairs committee rooms at the Kensington Town Hall venue, rather than the main hall, so there weren’t too many witnesses. His wearing of a DJ and bow tie all day launched the club’s tradition of wearing shirts and ties to shows, which lasted for many years.

We shared the room with a bunch of ECW re-enactors from The Sealed Knot, dressed up in their period finery. They had a TV and video recorder which showed films of their events on a loop throughout the day to help with their recruiting. But before and after the show was open they were running Kate Bush videos, which kept everyone entertained (Babooshka was a particular favourite). At the end of the day they insisted that we ran an extra game for them after closing time, so we were late getting away.

Anyway, onto the signs. At the time I worked at GEC Marconi with a fellow programmer who also happened to be a talented cartoonist. I gave him £20 and a selection of my sci-fi art books to come up with a couple of display boards for the game. He did a fantastic job, as you can see; I’ve blown up parts of the logo so you can get a good look at some of the details.

The Price of Neutrality
My final walk down memory lane is another 20mm WW2 game, depicting a what-if scenario that had the Germans attempting to force a landing in Norway in 1940 against concerted British and Norwegian opposition (rather than the unopposed landings which really occurred).

The game ran in 1993 and ’94 at three shows. By this time technology had moved onto colour printers rather than typewriters and letraset – we had a very expensive wax thermal one at work that I used to create some display materials. I came across yet another club name banner and a couple of different ones for the game (although that Union Flag looks a bit suspect). I’m not sure why there is more than one game name, they may have been for different shows.

We also have a two page handout covering the game, and another one about the club from the same period.

Society Meeting 27 November 2021

Andy’s short roundup of games at this weekend’s meeting.

First up Stephen and I tried out Barons War rules for the first time. As it was our first outing we decided to go small, and had 500 point armies. We managed two games in around 5 hours, with much referring to the rules. All in all we thought the rules worked quite well.

Andy’s green bowmen thinning out Stephen’s Welsh Knights
Welsh archers draw bows to shoot Andy
English knights skulking around the back
Spearmen charge each other
Knights and sergeants urge the crossbows forward
Stephen’s Welsh Knights run from the field.
Andy’s spearmen force back Stephen’s archers

Meanwhile Jeremey and Tony were playing a War of the Roses game using Sword and Spear.

Elsewhere in the hall six of our Field of Glory players (John, Peter, Brett, Paul, Mark and Colin) fought out a tournament. Final results to be confirmed…

Yes, 6mm vs 15mm. But they all follow the same basing system.

Signs o’ the Times (1)

Tony F shares some finds from the past.

I was digging in the garage the other day, ostensibly hunting for an old book (Kenneth Macksey’s First Clash, in case you really wanted to know). Besides dust and cobwebs, I managed to unearth a very old Burton’s plastic bag containing a treasure trove of vintage club display material (but no book – although it turned up elsewhere, you’ll be delighted to hear). These relate to some of our very first show games, dating from the second half of the eighties and early nineties.

The Vire Incident
This was a 54mm World War 2 skirmish game, featuring scratchbuilt terrain and Tamiya figures. It was a collaborative effort between half a dozen members, and saw service at four shows in 1986 and 1987. Secretary Brian arranged for a couple of display boards (painted by a bloke he met in the pub apparently !) with the club (above) and game names. You can click on all the thumbnails in this post for bigger versions.

For its fourth outing we had an extra sign made up – unfortunately I have no memory of where this came from or who made it.

Berlin or Bust
This game was our project for 1988’s shows. Again it was set in WW2, but this time in 20mm. It was a participation game which had members of the public playing an advancing US force against the defending Germans, run by the club. The participants had 45 minutes to get from one end of the table to the other. The format was obviously successful as we revived it a few years later, with Drive to Dunkirk taking the basic scenario and applying it to the French campaign in 1940.

I’ve unearthed a copy of the handout we made for the game (a first, I don’t think we’d had handouts previously). This was carefully written out on a typewriter (no word processors in 1988 !) with wonky letraset headlines.

We had a new club logo, drawn by me (well, it has my initials at the bottom) – hand drawn with letraset type. I also found the original which has big blobs of correction fluid all round the Tiger tank, but they don’t come through on the photocopy fortunately.

The sign for the game was made from letters cut out of red card mounted on art board – this must have taken me a while to do, as I drew out letters by hand.

There was also another display board, similar to the later Vire one – so again, I don’t remember where this came from.

And finally, a sign imploring the public to join in – I think at busier shows we did have a sign-up sheet with timed slots for games.

That’s it for now – part two will cover a sci-fi game that we only ran once, but which had some fabulous display artwork.

MWS Quiz Retrospective 16/09/2020 answers

Answers to Peter’s quiz from last year.

Pictures used are public domain or used under Creative Commons licence. Click the image to see attribution and details.

Q01a: Which river in Greek mythology would travellers take to the Underworld

Answer: River Styx

Q01b: What was the name of the Ferryman

Answer: Charon

Q02a: What was the home base of Stingray in the TV series

Answer: Marineville

Q02b: From the same series can you name either the ruler of the undersea city of Titanica, or the code name of his surface agent.

Answer: Mighty Titan OR Agent X20

Q03a : Which river separated Rome from the northern provinces of Italy, over which it was forbidden for a general to bring troops without permission of the Senate?

Answer: Rubicon

Q03b: Which Roman General’s crossing of it precipitated the civil war of 49BC

Answer: Julius Caesar

Q04a: At which major river crossing did Napoleon suffer his greatest losses in the retreat from Moscow in 1812

Answer: Niemen

Q04b: Which French Marshal commanded the crossing operation and covering forces?

Answer: Marshal Ney

Q05a: What is the name of this aircraft?

Question 5a (Credit Tony Hisget. Click image for details)

Answer: Fairy Swordfish

Q05b: What is the name of its successor?Question

5b (Public domain. Click image for details)

Answer: Fairy Abelcore

Q06a: Where did the first major naval battle of WW2 take place?

Answer: River Plate

Q06b: Where did the Graf Spee take refuge after the battle?

Answer: Montevideo, Uraguay

Q07a: Who was the captain of the first submarine Nautilus?

Answer: Nemo (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea)

Q07b: Where or when was the first operational submarine used in combat?

Answer: American War of Independence, Sept 7 1776 the “Turtle” attacked the British flagship HMS Eagle in New York harbour

Q08a: Where was the first major land action of the combined allied armies fought against Imperial Russia in 1854?

Answer: River Alma

Q08b Which river gave its name to the battle in autumn 1914 which stopped the German advance on Paris?

Answer: River Marne

Q09a: Which combat over the river Derwent ended Scandinavian hopes in England?

Answer: Battle of Stamford Bridge, 1066

Q09b: Which battle of ‘Black Week’ in the 2nd Boer War was fought at a river crossing?

Answer: Battle of the Modder River, 1899

Q10a: Which Indiana Jones film starred River Phoenix as young Indy?

Answer: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Q10b: Where was Thoeden’s son Theodred killed?

Answer: At the Fords of Isen

Q11a: Which river did this bridge span?

Question 11a (Public Domain. Click image for details)

Answer: The Rhine (at Remagen)

Q11b: Name any ludicrous attempts to destroy it after its capture by US Forces?

Any of the following answers: V2 rocket, Arado jet, Frogmen, 600mm Karl-Gerät, naval mines

Q12a: Which club show game featured British ‘stay behind’ partisans in a 1940 ‘What If’?

Answer: Bridge on the River Wye (2011-12)

Q12b: Several club games of the 2nd VietNam war featured riverine action. Which river was the primary focus?

Answer: The Mekong

MWS Quiz Retrospective 16/09/2020

Here’s the third of Peter’s quizzes from last year. Answers Monday evening.

Pictures used are public domain or used under Creative Commons licence. Click the image to see attribution and details (after answering, of course)

Q01a: Which river in Greek mythology would travellers take to the Underworld

Q01b: What was the name of the Ferryman

Q02a: What was the home base of Stingray in the TV series

Q02b: From the same series can you name either the ruler of the undersea city of Titanica, or the code name of his surface agent.

Q03a : Which river separated Rome from the northern provinces of Italy, over which it was forbidden for a general to bring troops without permission of the Senate?

Q03b: Which Roman General’s crossing of it precipitated the civil war of 49BC

Q04a: At which major river crossing did Napoleon suffer his greatest losses in the retreat from Moscow in 1812

Q04b: Which French Marshal commanded the crossing operation and covering forces?

Q05a: What is the name of this aircraft?

Question 5a (Credit Tony Hisget. Click image for details)

Q05b: What is the name of its successor?

Question 5b (Public domain. Click image for details)

Q06a: Where did the first major naval battle of WW2 take place?

Q06b: Where did the Graf Spee take refuge after the battle?

Q07a: Who was the captain of the first submarine Nautilus?

Q07b: Where or when was the first operational submarine used in combat?

Q08a: Where was the first major land action of the combined allied armies fought against Imperial Russia in 1854?

Q08b Which river gave its name to the battle in autumn 1914 which stopped the German advance on Paris?

Q09a: Which combat over the river Derwent ended Scandinavian hopes in England?

Q09b: Which battle of ‘Black Week’ in the 2nd Boer War was fought at a river crossing?

Q10a: Which Indiana Jones film starred River Phoenix as young Indy?

Q10b: Where was Thoeden’s son Theodred killed?

Q11a: Which river did this bridge span?

Question 11a (Public Domain. Click image for details)

Q11b: Name any ludicrous attempts to destroy it after its capture by US Forces?

Q12a: Which club show game featured British ‘stay behind’ partisans in a 1940 ‘What If’?

Q12b: Several club games of the 2nd VietNam war featured riverine action. Which river was the primary focus?

MWS Quiz 24th February 2021 – Answers

Here are the answers to Peter’s latest quiz…

Q1a: “Green Grow The Rushes Oh” was widely sung by American troops in which war?

Answer: 1846 War with Mexico

Q1b: What nickname did the Spanish/Mexican population give these troops?

Answer: “Gringos”

Q2a: What TV series usually ends with a rendition of ‘Over The Hills & Far Away’?

Answer: Sharpe

Q2b: In which century was it first regularly sung by British troops?

Answer: 18th – it was a folk tune in the 17th (at least), but ‘army lyrics’ were 1706.

Q3a: Many regiments in the 19th Century had a band. Apart from signalling & boosting morale, what other key function did they often perform in combat?

Answer: Helping with the wounded.

Q3b: How did the Romans employ musicians in actual combat with Carthage?

Answer: Used to help scare the Carthaginian elephants.

Q4a: For a full orchestral staging, what unusual instruments do you need for a performance of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 overture?

Answer: Cannon!

Q4b: What was the WW2 ‘Red Orchestra’?

Answer: German intelligence name for a loose network of Soviet spy rings across Germany & Europe.

Q5a: The song ‘Lili Marlene’ was already very popular among German troops before WW2. Where did the British army first start to take it up?

Answer: North Africa.

Q5b: “We’ll Meet Again” by Vera Lynn is sung during the closing credits of which famous Cold War film?

Answer: Dr Strangelove.

Q6a: Why did Beethoven’s 5th Symphony have such massed appeal in Britain during WW2?

Answer: The opening 4 beats formed the morse letter V (for Victory).

Q6b: Which award-winning Sci-Fi film used five notes as its main theme/signature?

Answer: Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Q7a: A special version of ‘Men of Harlech’ is sung in a famous scene from which film?

Answer: Zulu.

Q7b: What is the full title of the British army unit primarily depicted in the film?

Answer: 24th Regt of Foot (2nd Warwickshires). Note – they only became South Wales Borderers in 1881.

Q8a: Hollywood notwithstanding, the song ‘Garryowen’ was most famously adopted by which unit?

Answer: U.S. 7th cavalry

Q8b: ‘The British Grenadiers’ was introduced to the UK by William III, but actually first adopted by which British army unit in 1716?

Answer: Royal Artillery.

Q9a: Hail The Conquering Hero’ was played in the film ‘Waterloo’ on what occasion?

Answer: Duchess of Richmond’s ball in Brussels (entry of the Duke of Wellington)

Q9b: For which victorious British Commander was it originally devised/dedicated?

Answer: Duke of Cumberland, post-Culloden

Q10a: General Grant famously said he could only remember two tunes. Which was his favourite?

Answer: Dixie (he couldn’t remember the name of the other one!)

Q10b: ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ has been the national anthem of the USA since 1931. Which war was it written to commemorate?

Answer: The War of 1812

Q11a: Music has often been used to intimidate the enemy. Which track was played by the 1st / 9th (Air Cavalry) in their Hollywood debut?

Answer: ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ by Wagner; during the air-assault in the film ‘Apocalypse Now’

Q11b: Where was ‘rock music’ actually first used officially as a psyops weapon?

Answer: 1989 assault on Panama (attack on General Noriega’s palace)

Q12a: Which BBC series was one of the first ever to use all-electronic theme music?

Answer: Dr Who

Q12b: Why was ‘Deep in the Heart of Texas’ banned by the BBC in 1942?

Answer: Because it was thought that the clapping chorus caused too much production loss by factory workers!